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papacy and so the logic was simple, they wanted continuity. so cardinal joseph ratzinger seemed an obvious choice. this time there is no such obvious front runner and no simple, single, overriding issue that's driving the reflection, which is why a lot of us believe this conclave may be a little bit more complex and it may take a little bit longer for the cardinals to reach consensus. >> all right. all right, john, let's come back here to new york for a second. melinda, let me ask you, when you're looking at this from the outside, other than the timing which you know i'm completely obsessed with, that's mainly because i have to figure out when i have to get to rome, but when we're looking at what might be different this time, that's the excitement, right? what are you looking at from the outside? what do you think the possibilities here are? and are we being too excited? >> in terms of the candidates or in terms of what we're going to see going forward? >> because pope benedict has created precedent here by saying i'm resigning, this is the best thing for the church, will that i
it before. one was the american cardinal and joseph ratzinger you may have heard of who became benedict xvi. this time you have 50 conclave veterans in the sistine chapel, and i think therefore will be more inclined to think they ought to have say in what's happening. >> and i believe some 67 who have been elevated to cardinal by benedict xvi. >> that's right. all 115 were appointed by john paul or benedict. >> so as catholics around the world look to the possible direction the church might take, and in america we know there's a big wing of the roman catholics who is looking for a more progressive, more modern catholic church, that addresses the real issues of living in today's 21st century world, other parts of the word are much more traditional, much more conservative model. how do you see it going forward and to you think there will be an american pope for the first time? >> an american pope is a long shot, but for the first time it's thinkable. in the old idea you couldn't have a super power pope because america is too powerful and if you put that guy in, half the world will think vatic
. >> joseph ratzinger, matt, in 2005, was one of only two cardinals who had participated in the papal elections. the two elections of 1978. he knows exactly what the purchas burden of responsibility is that these men are taking on themselves. he knows the conflicting emotions that many of them have. some of which greg and father baron have just described. i think he was saying to them, look, i know how you feel. and i am going to be with you in solidarity and in prayer over the next several weeks. of what is going to be a difficult test. >> at the same time, he has made clear, he does not want to exert undue influence on the process. this is not somebody who's behind the scenes twisting arms saying this should be the next pope? absolutely not, savannah. he is going to disappear. we're not going to see this man for months. he's too much a respecter of the process. he's too much of a respecter of his brother cardinals. and he's too, frankly, humble a human being to try to monkey in any way whatsoever with the selection of his successor. >> matt? >> yeah, i was curious, though, and fathe
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